The Absurd Humor of Jiu Jitsu Sparring

Cooperative fighting (AKA voluntarily letting someone hurt you) is such an absurd idea that it’s bound to contain some funny and interesting moments.

This is true of jiu jitsu – when I’m rolling, I get a few unique enjoyments that don’t come up elsewhere in life. Here are just three:

Seeing someone kick your ass in a magnificent way

Sometimes it’s fun to just sit back and watch someone utterly destroy you. In jiu jitsu, there are some beautiful and brilliant ways to get a chokehold or an arm-bar on someone. You should resist these – sure – but when the outcome is clear, take some time to admire your opponent’s skill in submitting you. Stop and smell the roses. Just don’t forget to tap out.

Slapstick fighting mistakes

Sometimes during a fight you have to crack up at the ways a move can go wrong. And slapstick will never lose its appeal. In jiu jitsu, that can often involve (unfortunately) kicks to the groin. If it’s not a serious injury, you have the opportunity to laugh it off. I got a minor punch to the eye today and found it hilarious. It’s strange what you laugh at when you’re the middle of a fight.

Making your opponent laugh

Speaking of laughter: I may not be the best fighter, but I’ve seen enough movies to know that cool guys know how to crack good jokes in the heat of the fight. And as the guy who gets his ass kicked most of the time, this is my way to exercise a little power of my own over the situation. Just today I was sparring with someone and got his gi shirt pulled up over his head. “Where did his head go?!” managed to get a smile even as we continued to fight.

Photo Credit: John Lamonica, CC BY-SA 3.0

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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